Keeping my head above water

Head above water

Just keeping my head above water…

I never moved in my schooling career (with the exception of moving up levels with my peers, of course). I was in the same school system in the same town from K-12.

Until this year, I had never moved in my teaching career either. I had worked in the same school for all of my seven years of teaching.

This year I am working at a new school. I’ve left White Swan High School for Sunnyside High School. I’ve left behind all that was familiar and comfortable for a whole new teaching context.

I’ve gone from a school of 250 students to one with 1800+ students.

I’ve gone from teaching 3 sections of biology and one each of chemistry and physics to teaching 3 sections of 9th grade integrated science (earth science & physical science) and only one section of biology.

I’ve gone from a self-designed project based curriculum to a very textbook-centric curriculum.

On the plus side – I’ve gone from a 45 minute (each way) commute to a 3 minute commute. I’m now teaching in the same district where my kids are students. I’m now fully invested in my local community in every way.

The best thing about teaching in a new place for me, though, may be the reset. While it has been stressful and has often left me feeling disoriented, I think we all need to “start from scratch” once in a while. Much like moving into a new home, I have been forced to sift through every aspect of my teaching and decide what should stay and what I can do without.

For the moment, I’m just happy to keep my head above water.

Image used under CC license from the Flickr photostream of BotheredByBees

2 thoughts on “Keeping my head above water

  1. I am a student at the university of South Alabama, and I am majoring in elementary education. I went to the same school for my entire schooling career also. I plan on teaching at the same elementary school that I went to,it has always been my dream. It is only about a 5 minute commute for me. My town is very small and comfortable, so that’s why I wanted to teach here.

  2. Brelyn,

    There is something to be said for comfort. There is also something to be said for the experience of working outside one’s comfort zone.

    I strongly encourage you to seek out opportunities in what remains of your college career to do just that. You will be a better teacher for it and your students will reap the benefits.

    Because your experience is limited to one school system and you plan to return to that system to teach, you need to broaden your experience in order to help innovate the system you will return to. There is some truth to the old saying, “we teach how we were taught.”

    Beware the comfort trap!

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